Roster Doctor – 5/8/09

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A standard roster for today…

Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 12
Categories: Traditional 5×5
Scoring Type: Rotisserie

Roster:

C – John Buck
1B – Adrian Gonzalez
2B – Kelly Johnson
3B – Mike Lowell
SS – Hanley Ramirez
OF – Carlos Quentin
OF – Jay Bruce
OF – Andre Ethier
Util – Garrett Atkins
BN – Kosuke Fukudome
BN – Milton Bradley
DL – Brian McCann

SP – Matt Garza
SP – Clayton Kershaw
SP – Derek Lowe
SP – Jon Lester
SP – Ricky Nolasco
RP – Matt Capps
RP – Mike González
RP – Kevin Gregg
RP – Todd Coffey
RP – LaTroy Hawkins

Right off the bat (literally) I noticed your strong hitting. You’ve got some boppers in Gonzalez, Quentin, and Bruce and some nice average guys in Hanley, Ethier, and Lowell to complement them. When McCann comes off the DL in the very near future, your lineup will only look more intimidating and hopefully his numbers follow the reputation.

Hanley is your only real source of steals, so you could use some help there in a trade. I would look to trade either Lowell or Atkins—Lowell especially because he might look enticing to some owners because of his hot start—and in return receive a speedy character. Your options are pretty much wide open as to who you get in return since he will be filling your utility position.

In the meantime I would drop Bradley for a speed guy like Emmanuel Burriss; he should pick up his production going forward and should offer some stolen bases. Burriss also makes for a nice backup to Hanley and Kelly with his second base and shortstop eligibility. (Another player I would consider adding is Juan Pierre in light of the Manny news.)

Speaking of Kelly Johnson, he and Atkins are the two hitters struggling for your team right now. Johnson is simply the victim of bad luck as I mentioned in my last article, due mostly to a .222 BABIP. He should pick up the slack and put up similar numbers to the solid ones of past seasons. Atkins is someone I am less fond of, although I do believe he will start playing better than he has so far this season. My expectations are about a .275-.280 average with about 15 home runs and a high-80s to low-90s RBI total. For now, I think you are stuck with that production unfortunately, but if he gets hot in the future, I would to include him as a piece in a trade, especially because there is a good chance he spends the second half of the season away from Coors.

Moving over to your pitching, it lacks an ace but does appear to have good depth. Garza, Kershaw, and Lowe are all solid pitchers who have performed well for you so far and should continue to do so. Lester and Nolasco have not done as well, Nolasco especially, but nevertheless I like both of them going forward. A simple check of their peripherals shows they are still striking out plenty of batters (Lester is currently striking out over a batter an innning!) and walking relatively few. They are both the victims of poor BABIP luck with inflated .363 and .381 BABIPs. I’ll take a rotation of five solid starters over a staff consisting of an ace or two and three inconsistent starters, particularly in rotisserie a league.

You probably did not make a large investment in closers during your draft—Capps is your sole brand-name closer—but regardless you have managed to assemble a mass of relievers in position to get saves. Capps, Gonzalez, Gregg (barely), and Hawkins (for the next two to three weeks) will be doing closing duties for their teams. Coffey—the lone man out—is now droppable with the return of Travor Hoffman and I would take a stab at a potential closer like Jim Johnson, Tony Sipp, or Andrew Bailey to take his place.

Overall I feel your hitting is solid but needs to be improved by a smart addition or one of the trades I mentioned to become championship caliber. Your mix of starters is great—no need to alter that—and as long as you stay active on the waiver wire for closers as you already have, your pitchers will continue to impress. Good luck!

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